Tower of Radiance Nerf is Intentional

Nethaera just confirmed that a change to Tower of Radiance‘s functionality is intentional. There’s also been a change to lower the overall healing done by Light of Dawn (although it now seems to not have a target cap. Whether that’s intentional remains unclear, but is likely a bug.).

The change to Tower of Radiance means that healing your Beacon of Light target with Holy Light no longer results in any Holy Power being gained.

Here’s the text of the forum post by Nethaera.

These hotfixes were intentional and we wanted to share more information about the “why” for you all here:

Mana is supposed to matter for healers, and in the case of Holy paladins, that just wasn’t happening. We were seeing raid groups attempting to learn new bosses where the other healers were out of mana while the paladins were still at 90% of mana. We also thought the experience of paladins healing harder heroic dungeons was inconsistent with that of other healers, or our design intent. We thought it was only a matter of time before groups started going out of their way to stack paladins for raids or recruit them for dungeon runs, which of course is not our intent. For this reason, we thought it was important to address this point now rather than sitting on it until a future patch.

The main culprit for the increased paladin efficiency this was Holy Power from Tower of Radiance. We were seeing a strategy develop where paladins would cast Holy Light on a Beaconed tank, and then cast Light of Dawn on the raid (and use very few other spells). This strategy was remarkably successful considering how simple it is. The Holy Power-based heals are supposed to be an important component of the paladin kit, but because Holy Light is designed to be super efficient, the overall strategy was too efficient. The intent of Tower of Radiance was to make directly healing a Beacon of Light target less punitive, but instead it was becoming the only smart way to play. You can still generate Holy Power by using Flash of Light or Divine Light on a Beaconed target, or through a variety of other ways. Remember, overall it isn’t balanced if paladins are just as mana efficient as other healers and have several mana-free spells.

Light of Dawn was adjusted because it was completely eclipsing Word of Glory. We lowered the healing of Word of Glory late in development, but also redesigned Light of Dawn. They had fallen out of sync, and Light of Dawn was just too good.

So now, we have 3 points in Tower of Radiance and four of our six direct-healing spells do not give us holy power when we directly heal the beacon target. Holy Shock won’t give us holy power through Tower of Radiance (because it already gives us one charge for using it), Word of Glory doesn’t give us holy power through ToR, nor does Lay on Hands and now nor does Holy Light. Only Flash of Light (our fast, very expensive spell) and Divine Light (our long, very expensive spell) will give us charges of holy power through Tower of Radiance.

What does this mean?

For one, it means that, unless we want to resort to standing in melee range and attacking with Crusader Strike, we will rarely be generating more than 3 holy power in the span of 12 seconds. (00:00 – Holy Shock, 06:00 – Holy Shock, 12:00 – Holy Shock)

For another, it means  Blizzard hates us that Holy Light, our most efficient direct heal and the one that heals for the absolute least, won’t be cast as much because it really does very little in terms of healing someone up at all. With 125k tank health pools, is 7k actually going to make a difference? Not so much. We’d use it a bit as a filler, to get some healing out while Holy Shock was on cooldown, and also to generate holy power. Now? Well, I suppose it’s better than standing around doing absolutely nothing between Holy Shock casts.

The more important thing to realize here is that we’re now being punished for casting Holy Light on the tank instead of Flash of Light (which is stupidly expensive) and Divine Light (which is stupidly expensive and also stupidly slow). We’re actually being punished for keeping our tanks (or our beacon targets) at a relatively high level of health and are being encouraged by Blizzard’s mechanics to let them drop to a significantly low amount to justify casting things like Flash of Light and Divine Light. After all, no reason to cast a quick Flash of Light on the tank when they’re not in danger of dying really quickly, right? And there’s no reason to cast a long, big Divine Light when the tank’s over 75%, right?

So why bother casting Holy Light on the tank? Why bother keeping the tank at 75%+?

For that matter, why bother getting Tower of Radiance?

In thinking about it, the best reason I can think of to get Tower of Radiance is because we have nothing better to get. This is ridiculous. That’s five talent points (3 from Tower of Radiance, 2 from Protector of the Innocent) that I don’t feel benefit me particularly much, but we NEED them to get down the tree.

What else would we put the three points in? Fill out 3/3 Protector of the Innocent, 2/2 Enlightened Judgements and then… 1/2 in Blessed Life?

So take it. Besides, we’ll almost certainly have to use Flash of Light and Divine Light to save the tank’s ass now and again, so we can be pleasantly surprised to get a charge of holy power. :P

Does this mean we shouldn’t beacon the tank? Or shouldn’t take Beacon of Light?

Beacon of Light should always be part of a holy paladin PVE build and should be placed on a target who is tanking a lot of damage, which is typically a tank. Beacon is what allows us to heal the party plus keep the tank alive in a five-man setting, and allows us to attend to other wounded allies in a raid setting without leaving the tank without a heal for several seconds on end. Keep beaconing the tank. Keep taking Beacon of Light.

Besides, what else would you take? You’d end up with a build like this one.

So what does this change?

A lot less use of Light of Dawn. A lot less use of Word of Glory. Thought you were starved for mana before? Think again. I didn’t even use WoG and LoD all that much and I was still going through my mana like mad in regular instances. I assume at least some of it is because I’m still in a bunch of 264/277 gear, but if I still have these issues at 85 in heroics and in raids, it’ll be time to stack a ton of spirit.

In conclusion…

Clearly, a bunch of paladins who were stacking holy power through Holy Light have wrecked things for the rest of us who weren’t healing like cheap-ass chumps. Thanks a bunch. :P

Honestly, we should be using a variety of heals, and those who are will now find the overall healing choices they make to be very similar to what they were using before, only using less of the “free” heals. It SHOULD be only those who were exploiting this strategy who find themselves in trouble.

It doesn’t mean that the fix Blizzard has implemented doesn’t hurt us all, because it does, but it means that if you weren’t overly reliant on Light of Dawn and Word of Glory, you should be okay.

You can still be angry that a few morons who aren’t as talented and skilled as you are got Tower of Radiance nerfed and therefore really changed how holy power is earned and used drastically, though. I know I’m pretty livid at them and I’m ticked off by how Blizzard elected to “fix” the problem.

28 Replies to “Tower of Radiance Nerf is Intentional”

  1. Join the “we have no mana!” club that priests and later resto druids have been hanging out in for a while now… I assume shaman have their own issues but I know how hard it was when the nerf hit my druid. And here I was thinking of leveling my holy pally next to have a mana battery healer for when I was tired of the mana game…

    Nope, Blizz wants healers to play the mana game, so play we shall.

  2. So why bother casting Holy Light on the tank?

    Because it’s your “healing auto-attack”, meant to fill GCDs (as it’s supposed to be mana-neutral at a proper value of Spirit) that you do not have to use another spell? And there isn’t another target that actually needs the heal, meaning that it’s wise to drop it on the tank regardless? The same way that Priests are meant to use Heal, Shaman use Healing Wave, and Druids use HT (I think it is)?

  3. We’re actually being punished for keeping our tanks (or our beacon targets) at a relatively high level of health and are being encouraged by Blizzard’s mechanics to let them drop to a significantly low amount to justify casting things like Flash of Light and Divine Light. After all, no reason to cast a quick Flash of Light on the tank when they’re not in danger of dying really quickly, right? And there’s no reason to cast a long, big Divine Light when the tank’s over 75%, right?

    At least I would have shields, PoM and Renew if my tank were over 75% and I would have something to do. What are paladins supposed to do?

    So why bother casting Holy Light on the tank? Why bother keeping the tank at 75%+?

    That’s what I have been wondering, regarding my own heals, as well. I just assumed that I was supposed to spam Heal, as was appropriate for my tank healing Chakra state and should at least be attempting to keep my tank up. I didn’t think that I was supposesd to let them fall to a scary amount, do one Flash Heal and then watch the health fall again, only to rinse and repeat.

    That seems… weird to me. I know that I’m supposed to break the nasty habit of healing on autopilot, where damage = heal and health going down a little should be OK, but this feels a bit much and kind of dangerous.

    Maybe I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time, since Cata started. Color me insecure now – lol

  4. This might be a total nab question because I only play holydin as a hobby occasionally (and not since Cataclysm was launched), but wouldn’t you also stack Holy Power from Blessed Life? Don’t know if AoE effects count as direct damage. This isn’t a big help in instances of course, but maybe useful in raids at least.

  5. Well this basically ruined my day. LoD was way too powerful, but I never suspected the gutting that they gave Tower of Radiance. I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to handle some of these heroic dungeons now, being able to generate the HP for my WoGs quickly was so key.

  6. This change is off-the-charts! “To the GROUND” rings true again.

    I think they need to revisit this nerf and try not to completely break pally healing this time (not to mention gutting our talent tree). If they would just remove the LoD heal from being beaconed, and revert the other changes, crisis averted and we can still heal effectively.

    This makes me want to switch mains to my Shaman. They are taking our knees out on this one.

  7. Sorry, I was totally doing this the other night. not the LoD part, but I’d charge up my holy power before the pull just to build some shields, and get that instant heal setup. oh, I also used my valanyr, so expect that to be nerfed soon as well. what? I haven’t found a decent mace yet, and dangit, its still cool looking.

  8. I have enjoyed reading your blog since I was turned on to it by mmo or WoR(cant remember), however you ending statements have turned me away. The “unskilled” paladins were not the ones that got holy light nerfed. The smart and experience ones understood that in order to be efficient you could lean on HL. At 85 the only way to heal and not go oom was to heal with Holy Light when HS was on CD and no major dmg was present on the raid. I healed this way, not because I was trying to cheat, but because I quickly learned it was the most viable method. I wasn’t solely using HL, but I did use it when I had the “time” to build my HP to 3 stacks. Your conclusion is way off base with the rest of your post(which was rather accurate). Had you geared up and done even some non-heroic 5 mans, you yourself would have adopted this method. you lost a reader, best of luck

  9. Now now, don’t tell me you didn’t expect this little nerf to LoD :). Let’s be honest, it was freaking OP. All you had to do was to spam HL on beacon (tank) and LoD.

    Paladins are more than fine, both healing and mana management. If if you had mana issues before tonight, than you’re doing it really wrong. HL is still our heal to spam, you will still wanna use HS every cooldown … but now we are forced to use some of the other spells we have also … and this is the way to be. Basically healing it’s about using the right spell for the right situation … and we do have such a nice arsenal :).

    P.S. Paladins still top the meters if that’s what worries people. This is from our Omnitron Defence kill tonight (25 man) … after the change.

  10. Now that I’m running heroics with decent gear, I kind of see where they’re coming from. I have way too much mana.

    However, I’d rather they just nerf our mana regen, or the amount of mana we get from intellect. Right now it seems like we’re heading towards having tons of mana and spamming Divine Light…sound familiar?

  11. Just ran Heroic Vortex Pinnacle (just as a random just wanted to see how changes affected us) I have to say these are pretty brutal changes. I found myself oom before the 2nd boss (forgot the name but he’s the dragon with all the wind changes and cyclones) was even below 50%. The first boss I barely scraped by running oom about 10%. Oh and I have about 2k spirit which is amounting to about 2054 mp5 in combat.

    I’m a little pissed that blizz did this, I was aware of the light of dawn strategy, feeling taht it was exploitive I forwent using it but it did make me feel more comfortable using light of dawn in the situations that required it, and I foresaw the obvious fix for it being to remove it from beacon thus making wog better for most instances. Instead Blizz goes ahead and guts everything that makes us efficient healers. We are in serious trouble if things continue like this, I know ppl say welcome to cata and such in regards to us losing our mana efficiency, but tbh on most heroic bosses I was oom just like the rest of the healers when the boss dies, the only difference I noticed was I wasn’t always, as in sometime I was, oom after a trash pull. From what I’ve been reading this is to balance raids, where pallies have way more efficiency, but for now we are going to have serious trouble with heroics if things don’t change.

  12. They should have just made it so the AoE from LoD didn’t transfer. Would have fixed the problem without causing all the other consequences. I think Blizzard swung the pendulum too far the other way.

    Personally, I didn’t find myself using LoD very much because it heals for such a small amount and it required me to be in the exact positioning. I was mainly using my stacks of HoPo for WoG, unless there was some actual AoE damage hurting the whole group.

    I’m am contemplating going into Blessed life… I was talking to another holy pally who suggested it to me pre-Cata and she said it was a great way of stacking HoPo.

  13. Personally, I never saw Light of Dawn as being powerful enough to want to use it every time I had 3 holy power. I thought the fact that it transfered all it’s healing to the beacon target was great, but I certainly didn’t see it magically solving all my healing and mana problems.

    I wrote on my own blog that I thought the way that Blizz should have fixed this issue is to remove the beacon transfer of LoD. I think that would have removed the temptation to use it constantly to the exclusion of everything else without mucking up our basic playstyle.

    Not much reason to cast Holy Light now at all. Except to make yourself look busy so the DPS don’t call you a slacker.

    @Ophelie: That was my first impression as well… except I looked at it as going back to the 4.01 healing style of nothing but FoL and HS.

  14. I healed my first Cata dungeon today after these changes went in. Even at level 80/81 I was feeling the mana hit, I’m dreading seeing how things go as mana costs get higher in later levels.

  15. Mana drain at 80/81? Never had those problems. Wait till you hit the serious trash packs in heroics :O

    Anyway, I thought the holy light-on-beacon strategy was a pretty cool mechanic, can’t really see why they’ve removed it. Now HP generation is really slow.

    So I’ll be trying a spec with beacon and blessed life, should suit me well, since I’m planning on going holy PvP this expansion. ToR is quite useless for me now, way to incidental to rely on and I find I’m taking quite a bit of damage in heroics myself.

    Oh and btw, try using judgement (with seal of light) more, it generates about 4-5k mana for me, which is nice, and the CD isn’t that long :D I save my divine plea + avenging wrath combo for serious mana problems.

  16. [b]Clearly, a bunch of paladins who were stacking holy power through Holy Light have wrecked things for the rest of us who weren’t healing like cheap-ass chumps. Thanks a bunch. :P[/b]

    You’re welcome.
    While we’re at it, why dont we thank blizzard for changing LoD in such a profoundly stupid way that they can now justify gimping WoG, Holy Light and Tower.

    I for one was barely using LoD at all in 85 HC’s, simply because my warlocks / rogues / mages etc. were standing all over the place and I’d not get much healing out of it (I preferred 20k instacrits on my tank).

  17. Surely it was no more moronic to do this than it is to use beacon – it was a design feature of the class. Whilst we have similar sized mana pools to other healers, our regen via divine plea was reduced by 75% (unglyphed) and the holy power system introduced instead.

    If people use the mechanics as designed, isn’t that an appropriate tactic? it begs the question, why were you NOT stacking holy power via HL on the beacon pre-pull?

    The flaw is not in people doing what was sensible (preserving mana for burst healing with FoL/DL) but rather in a rushed and poorly tested class design. It seems as though barely a fortnight goes by without a kneejerk revision of what LoD does.

    I’d rather see LoD back on a cooldown, and the HL restored to tower of radiance.

  18. Wow.. I’m sensing a bit more hate in the comments than usual.

    That being said, I personally think that Blizzard just hasn’t really decided what’s the best way to solve “issues” with Holy paladins yet. Either we’re too powerful (or efficient) or we’re too underpowered. They just haven’t hit the sweet spot yet.

    I reckon these changes won’t stay for too long, just until they’ve decided on a good middle-ground for us.

    Oh btw, I just noticed Quince’s comment.

    “The flaw is not in people doing what was sensible (preserving mana for burst healing with FoL/DL) but rather in a rushed and poorly tested class design.”

    That’s how it feels to me. I realise I haven’t played yet, but seeing things happen and hearing about it gives me this feeling.

    Yes, this nerf was to be expected. No, it’s not the fault of players who took advantadge of the mechanic. Yes, it’s Blizzard’s fault for not balancing it correctly in the first place.

  19. All this means is our Mastery is even more important now.

    I am sitting around 13% mastery at the moment so that means with a DL heal the target gets on avg a 3.8k bubble. However unlike priest bubble’s that go away after X amount of dmg or time, Illuminated Healing stays up for the full duration. (at least from what I can tell so if i am wrong here please correct me)

    On a full instance run Recount shows the following: (as of the “hotfix”)
    Illuminated Healing was 7.5% of my total healing.

    Now I know this may not seem like a big number but when you see that 7.5% is 541999 dmg absorbed, that is a rather large number of healing I did not have to do.

  20. I stand guilty of “abusing” Tower of Radiance.

    Did I do this on the beta? Yes. Did I, and many other active forum participants, submit feedback that this was too good? Yes. Without response over months of testing, the Paladin community guessed that this was working as intended.

    Do I consider it abuse? Without any word from Blizzard until this stealth nerf, I had assumed that this was how we were supposed to save mana.

    It was also an excellent safety net. I’d often pre-Holy Light the tank on trash pulls to have a Word of Glory under my belt. AOE phases (Grand Vizier Etrian, Baron Ashbury) were a blast pumping up Holy Power to cast Light of Dawn.

    Will we live? Yes. Will it be much duller with less access to our Holy Power heals? Yes.

    However, there are some major issues that arise with these changes:

    1) Tower of Radiance costs too many talent points for a tier six talent. I see it now strangely resembling Serendipity, but only working on one target.

    2) Holy Power is once again boring. Light of Dawn is not enough to cover a lot of the crazy aoe damage present in heroics (H BRC, looking at you) and Word of Glory at least has Eternal Glory and Last Word backing it up.

    How are we intended to proactively heal without killing our mana bar? We have no cushion pre-pull (whereas a locked and loaded Word of Glory was as good as our old Divine Favor + Holy Shock + Flash Wrath combo.

    3) Light of Dawn will still heal for more over the Beacon than Word of Glory (if you can hit its intended targets). Sadly, the spell itself does not dent health pools when it is most needed. I want to use this spell, but now I really don’t see any reason to.

    4) This skews our stat selection. Haste has lost some of its appeal in terms of its ability to enable Holy Power generation via Holy Light. Crit is still lousy, and the Mastery is often wasted. Whereas Haste and Spirit still seem important, I foresee lots of intellect stacking in my future. Sigh.

    Honestly, this fix feels like a cheap bandaid for Holy mana expenditure. Why do Protector of the Innocent and Enlightened Judgements still transfer to the Beacon target? Why does Light of Dawn require a nerf instead of simply making it not transfer? Why couldn’t the mana cost of Holy Light be increased to put us on par with other classes’ regen?

    So many questions that will never be answered. It felt good to use so many spells as a paladin (with an average about 12-16% use of each heal in heroics), but now we’re kind of stuck spamming Holy Light more.


    Are you confusing the effect of our mastery with something else? The absorb vanishes when consumed or after eight seconds just like Divine Aegis or PW: Shield.

  21. Hmm, thanks for calling me a moron…I always stacked HP with Holy Light; it meant I had an instant heal available as and when I needed it. Stack up 3HP before engaging, and I had my old Holy Shock back in the form of WoG. That is not abuse of the system – using the HL/LoD combo might have been, but I have not even raided in the new expansion yet.

    Honestly, sometimes Blizz seems to fix things with a sledge hammer approach. What is to blame here is their insistence on implementing LoD and HP instead of giving us a more traditional healing method. LoD has not worked ‘as intended’ from day 1.

  22. Well did some more heroics today this time with the guild went much more smoothly, and while I did feel a little strained for mana I was always able to do my job. I believe my problems as stated last night were due to the fact that 2 dps consistently were dying to their own stupidity with cyclones and as such we didn’t have the dps to beat him. While i am not all that happy with the change, like any good paladin I shall adjust. That seems to be the staple of out class, always in flux always something new or changing; that isn’t always a bad thing but it is what it is. There will be those of us who weather the storm and adapt to the changes and those of us who jump ship and attempt to swim for shore, that being other healing classes or dps classes.

    Side note: priests got an uber-hotfix today that puts them along the lines of where we were just at efficiency wise (holy priests now have 90% regen from spirit while in combat), needless to say things are going to be in a bit of flux for the next few weeks as they tweak healing to where they want it and I imagine without the ptr to test all of these changes they will be rather wonky.

  23. I did felt a little guilty about our regen after i figured out how to heal the new heroics, i was having a blast cause even though most of my heals relied on HL i did used all the tools around, we could generate HP fast and choose what spell to use with it.
    I have to tell that this DOUBLE nerf was way too harsh. If you already nerfed HP generation (so we cant generate them as fast now unless we burn stupid ammounts of mana) why need to nerf LoD? Now the spell is just to weak to counter heavy AoE dmg and still tied to HP mechanics.
    Why didnt make HL to have a chance to generate HP with Tower of Radiance? Or maybe as some already suggested, just make LoD not to transfer to beacon.
    I expected more of Blizzard than a stealth nerf tied to poor analysis on their part.

  24. Quite honestly, I didn’t like this nerf when it happened basically because I spent all weekend running and crushing heroics using LoD. It was OP, and it should be nerfed. That said.. what I don’t like about it, is how hard it is to generate holy power without spending a metric ton of mana.

    That said.. I kept running heroics, and relearned how to heal at 85 in a heroic. I gotta say, I love it. I’ve completely changed my gear choices and stat priority and I couldn’t be happier. My stats from before the nerf were something like.. 25% BoL, 21% LoD, then descending order of HL, DL, HS in that 18-12%. Which I thought was a fairly good distribution. Now, my healing is more like 25% BoL, then 18-16% HS, HL, DL, WoG. Which is even more steady. I’m disappointed by the LoD nerf simply because it was a great tank heal. Still, with my gear it’s becoming a decent tank heal again at 3 holy power.

    WoG is also the sex. 24k crits make me smile, and to see it instantly refreshed by EG? You know something’s going right.

    Something I’d like to see, is have judgement able to proc a HP charge, WoG to proc daylight, and … maybe divine plea to proc a full bar of HP. Maybe throw judgement in with daylight, giving it the 20% chance to proc a HP, or add it to ToR. That’s really all we need. HS is reliable, but not fast enough (even with Daylight believe it or not). Having one extra source of generation even if rng would be great.

    I also can’t say enough good things about Paragon of Virtue. Best. Talent. Evar.

  25. I’ve taken a break (well I’m the guildleader so I’ve still been around) from raiding for the last month. I leveled and am heroic geared though still only at 341 item level and needing my head/shoulder enchants.

    I never really used the HL/LOD abuse rotation through the few heroics I did in December so when the recent nerf came I didn’t feel it. It’s all still new to me and I like trying to remember all my spells and how I can use them for different fights. I have recently taken down Halfus, Valiona &Therlion, Omnitron and Magmaw. I’m the worst geared by alot and I always stay at #1 on the healing meter though more importantly, I’ve been able to keep the tanks alive.

    Mana is always an issue. I use the best flasks, the best mana potions, LOH mana regen, Divine Plea about twice per fight (I need to start using that more) and of course judging is my second priority above keeping people alive because it seems to do the best job at giving me mana.

    When there is a lull in damage I know my other two healers will be able to keep the tank alive through AOE healing and I just stand there for 10-20 and do nothing but judge for mana and hit Divine Plea if it’s ready. If my tank starts dipping below 50% I throw a few heals in case of unexpected spike damage and then rest again if I have time. In all the fights I’ve done so far, it seems there is always a few lulls of damage where you can actually take a break and regen. I’m not sure if this is a good tip but I’m just sharing my experience. I know once I actually gear up a bit and sort myself out my regen will be even better and expect little issues with mana. So hopefully that provides some hope for everyone.


    So now that some time has passed since this post, how does everyone feel about their healing and mana issues?

    Also I expected our haste cap to be over 1000 when Cata released and that’s what I was aiming for, so now I have 1000 haste which is unneeded. I’m wondering whether I should start stacking some crit and how much I would need to make my spells a little more powerful?

    Or should I be concentrating on reforging that haste into mastery? I really don’t know how effective my shields are and if it’s worth it.

    Thanks Kurn for a great blog and place for us to discuss our favorite class. :)


    My healing build. 2/2 blessed life. 2/2 persuit of justice generated more holy power then tower of radiance on the average.

    Fact 1. You will take direct damage from trash and some bosses.

    Fact 2. Some trash mobs and bosses will use direct CC on healers.

    Fact 3. If you’re spamming FoL/DL on the beacon target, something is wrong. “wtb new tank? L2raid >.>”

    After the ToR nerf, I avoided that talent. and sacrificed 6% more healing in favor of run speed and more holy power charges. (run speed is always a good thing yea?) So far this spec is working really good. and is alot better then burning 18969 mana for 3 holy power charges.

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